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It’s been a difficult week here at Chez Practical. The clouds are beginning to lift a bit now, and we are both just fine, but things around here have been tough and emotional. All of this difficult personal stuff just happened to fall during the same week we had a lot of wedding errands to do. We would put on the happy face and run to the caterer for a tasting, to the flower mart for flowers, to the venue for a once over. It was hard, and it kept making me wonder what the point of a wedding was. It seemed frivolous.

And then two things happened:

  • I saw this picture of my dear blog friends wedding, and I felt like my heart had been lifted right up to the sky.
  • I read this passage by Elie Wiesel: “In our tradition, celebration of life is more important than mourning over the dead. When a wedding procession encounters a funeral procession in the street, the mourners must halt so as to allow the wedding party to proceed. Surely you know what respect we show our dead, but a wedding, a symbol of life and renewal, a symbol of promise too, takes precedence.”

And then it hit me. I love weddings and write about weddings, because weddings are about hope. Weddings are hope for the future, hope for a new generation, hope that love and family can win out over everything else. Weddings are not more important then life, and they don’t stand apart from life, but they represent something bigger then us, and undoubtedly bigger then the dress we wear or the flowers we carry.

All of this is why I’ve always loved this description of the breaking of the glass after a Jewish ceremony, “The breaking of the glass now has many interpretations, one of which says that even in the moment of our greatest joy, we should remember that there is still pain and suffering in the world, and that we have a responsibility to help relieve that pain and suffering.” And of course, the breaking of the glass also signals the start of a really great party.

Have any of you worked to balance sorrow and joy, real life and hope as you plan your wedding?

Photo by the super talented Jude Mooney

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